A cooling apron for those hot days of summer cooking
So, as a project for a class, we were compelled to find an idea to solve another student's problem. The problem I chose related to keeping cool while cooking in a hot kitchen. As a personal residence, many of the options available for commercial kitchens, i.e. heavy-duty HVAC and exhaust fans, are relatively impractical. As such, I began thinking towards cooling the cook, rather than the kitchen. This led me to ponder how my brother, a solider, keeps cool in the Middle East while wearing full combat fatigues and a bullet proof vest. The answer there lies in cooling vests worn as close to the body as possible. Many of these cooling packs contain organic fluids which only cool to between 50 and 60 degrees (for comfort's sake). Additional online roaming gleaned stories relating to the detrimental effects experienced by professional male cooks due to their prolonged proximity to hot stoves at waist level. As a means of alleviating the bane of cooks everywhere, I am thinking of combining one of the oldest pieces of kitchen attire, the lowly apron, with the relatively newer technology of cooling vests. Though aprons aren't necessarily worn around the core (one of the best areas to maximize overall body cooling), they are generally worn tight and are placed perfectly to deflect the heat coming directly off the stove. Modern cooling packs are light and compact, therefore the addition of cooling packs into the apron would add undue weight and bulk. I believe this could be a practical idea to help lessen the impact of "slaving over a hot stove." Any thoughts on improving the idea? Or, on the other end of the spectrum, how effective could it actually become?